PROJECT TYPE

  • Rural
  • Botanic Garden
  • River
  • Trail
  • Greenfield

Environmental Benefits

  • Preserves Native Plants
  • Produces Food
  • Recycles Materials
  • Restores Biodiversity

Links

Crosswaters Ecolodge

Nankun Mountain Reserve, Guangdong Province, China
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    Throughout China, rapid industrialization is causing millions of people to migrate from the countryside to cities like Guangzhou. As urban areas sprawl outward, new development consumes open land and critical natural resources. This pattern of development is causing widespread environmental devastation and social disruption that is jeopardizing China’s long term future.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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  • Crosswaters Ecolodge
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    The Nankun Mountain Reserve was created in 1984 in an effort to preserve 260-square kilometers of native evergreen forest. Located within the reserve on a mountain above the Ganken River, Crosswaters Ecolodge was created as a sustainably-minded hotel and resort featuring 53 villas and suites.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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  • Crosswaters Ecolodge
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    The resort, which is the first ecotourism destination in China, respectfully leverages the natural beauty of the land to provide guests with engaging outdoor activities, delicious local food, and breathtaking scenery. Income from the resort helps fund forest conservation.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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    More than 5,000 native Keija people live within the reserve. During the planning process, landscape architects consulted the community to learn the history of the land and native culture. Local residents offered insight into the project proposal, shown above. The community planning process helped increase the community’s sense of ownership and appreciation for the new development.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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    Local Keija craftsman and artisans were employed in constructing nearly all aspects of the lodge, even complex structures like this bamboo bridge, which spans the Ganken River. Here, local workers were mentored by expert craftsman to learn new construction techniques. The community benefits as local craftsman gain new skills that can be applied on future projects.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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    Buildings, structures, and paving around the resort all incorporate local materials such as bamboo, clay tiles, marble, and river stones. The restaurant and lounge, shown here, feature bamboo flying buttresses that honor the traditional architecture of southeast China. Guests enjoy views from the open-sided restaurant while enjoying hearty local dishes, prepared with organic vegetables grown on site.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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    The local community engages with the resort on many levels, providing guests with insight into the sustainable lifestyles of rural China. Here, in the “Garden of Cultivation," Keija farmers cultivate and harvest native fruits and vegetables that supply the kitchen. Guests of the resort see and taste the advantages of local food production.

    ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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    Guests can interact with the landscape throughout their visit, choosing among a multitude of outdoor activities including mountain climbing, boating, birding, farming, or fishing. At night, guests can star gaze from the outlook tower shown in the above picture.

    Photo: ASLA Honor Award Recipient, Crosswaters Ecolodge by EDSA, Inc.
    (Photo: EDSA and Hitesh Mehta)

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Project Facts

  • Crosswaters Ecolodge is located within a 260-square kilometer protected forest called Nankun Mountain Reserve, 80 miles from the city of Guangzhou in southeast China.
  • The resort contains 53 suites and villas constructed with locally sourced materials like bamboo.   
  • A community of more than 5,000 native Keija people live within the reserve. They helped to plan, build, and operate the sustainability-minded resort.
  • There are over 1,300 types of plants in the park with over 30 square kilometers of native bamboo. Over 74 bird species and more than 176 species of butterflies exist in the reserve. All new plantings are native species.